Well, I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging for a while, but I think it’s high time I get back into it. Let’s start with this internet gem:
The Journal of Universal Rejection.
At least they have a quick turnaround time.
As I’m reading the Iliad for my classics class, I thought it’d be fun to go along as we read and modify it to be more entertaining. It actually helps with my reading retention, since I have to pay way more attention to what’s going on when I’m mocking it than I usually would.
Anyway, the first few pages can be found HERE. I’m not posting it to the main page because of extreme profanity, vulgarity, and other fun things.
I am preparing a nice long post on a day hike myself and a few friends took last weekend, but in the meantime, feast your eyes on this image, courtesy of the BBC:
This is what some are calling the Green Catastrophe. I think it is a thing of pure beauty and wonder, and should be hung in a gallery. Or perhaps at the White House. Maybe we could blow it up 1000% and place it on the top of the Washington Monument. Maybe that’s too far. In any case, if you don’t know what this image shows, click on it and read the article.
As an American who prefers real football to the American version (alternatively called Armored Wankball or Handegg), I am quite pleased with today’s England/USA World Cup match result. Maybe you could tell from my post? This actually puts us into a better spot than I was expecting for the first round. Of course, when we are eventually knocked out (as we always are), my allegiance shifts to England, then if needed to either Italy or Germany depending on who is still in it and various factors. I think I’m most pleased, however, that many of my countrymen finally seem to care about the sport.
I was reading an article recently (on how best to use a press pot for making coffee, if it matters) in order to improve my coffee brewing method (so far, my coffee presses have been of hit or miss quality, with about one out of every three pots turning out amazing and the rest so-so), and a single phrase the author used stood out to me. Here’s the quote from the article:
…many people see the leap from instant to press pot coffee as one in the quantum variety – it’s almost too much to go for.
Now, this author is not alone in this mistake; plenty of people make it. I’m just left wondering why? If you understand the science, even at a very basic level, you would know that the word quantum implies something extremely, unimaginably small–so small, even, that it is not observable in the normal course of human existence. So how has the phrase, “Quantum Leap” entered the common lexicon meaning “Something Extremely Large”? This is entirely mystifying to me. Almost assuredly, no physicist nor indeed anybody with any direct experience with the subject would claim that quantum mechanics is anything but extremely tiny. This is similar to, though less understandable than the common usage of the term ‘Lightyear,’ to mean a large measure of time or progress.
I think some small amount (perhaps a quanta) of insight can be gained from this entry at Answers.com:
How big is a quantum leap?
Extreamly big. The true fans would wish that a quantum leap movie will come out.
Yes, it is Extreamly big, as is my annoyance.
The Tahoe travelogue is finally posted with pictures and all. It is perhaps a bit shorter than my previous efforts, but that likely comes from the fact that this trip was meant to be relaxing instead of sight-seeing.
On an unrelated note, this is my 100th post on this blog. Hooray!
Well, I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I’ve been buried under a mountain of school stuff. In any case, I’ll finish posting the the Hawaii travelogue on the Travelogue page, and I’ll also be updating my Tahoe travelogue as things happen.
Day 6: Volcano & Area
Today was another busy day, though we left a little later than hoped. We began our venture heading south towards the southernmost point in the United States. Though we didn’t stop there, we stopped at a restaurant claiming to be the southernmost restaurant in the U.S. The food was adequate, but not stunning.
Along the way, we also passed through Captain Cook, which is a town near the place where the real Captain Cook was killed. Apparently when Hawaii was made a part of the U.S., the Queen gifted the small plot of Captain Cook Death Scene land to the English, though you don’t need your passport to go there. This gives new life to the old saying, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”
From south point, we headed to Kilauea crater, which has been continuously erupting for several years, though at varying intensity. At the main crater, we saw an enormous sulfurous plume rising from a mysterious hole in the ground, and many side vents periodically turning off and on throughout the whole time we were there. The smell of sulfur was not pervasive, but it certainly was present, and would have been much worse had the plume been blowing towards us (though if it had, we probably wouldn’t have been allowed out of our cars).
Day 4: Mauna Kea, Hilo, and Waterfalls
10:00 PM (HI)
Yesterday was a slow, lazy day, so there’s really no entry, but today was rather busy, so there’s likely to be a lot. Starting out at about 9 AM, our drive to Mauna Kea began easily enough, but we soon encountered a poorly maintained stretch of windy, hilly road that led up to a state park visitor’s center. Soon enough, though, Hawaii’s typical excellent road quality was restored, and our ride became much smoother.
As we progressed into the saddle between the two large volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, we observed intense vog (volcano fog) on the slopes of Mauna Loa. While Mauna Kea is more compact and has more varied terrain, Manua Loa appears to be a perfect shield volcano-straight slopes all the way down to the sea. The sight is rather impressive, and though it doesn’t appear so tall (even though it is at about 500 feet short of being a 14,000 foot peak), the most impressive facet is the sheer extent of the volcano-truly massive.
Our route took us up the slopes of Mauna Kea to the Observatory visitor’s center. Outside, they had set up a 10 inch telescope with a solar filter, and though there are only a few very small sunspots visible at the moment, it still drew quite a crowd. We were informed at the desk inside that our car was likely not up to the trip to the top of the mountain, so we decided to forego the trip and perhaps try it another day. From here, we decided to head to Hilo for lunch and then north to view some waterfalls.
Lunch in Hilo was rather amazing. We found a small family owned thai restaurant that was highly recommended by our guidebook. We ordered several dishes, including an excellent chicken satay, thai fried rice, an amazing spicy green curry, and wonderful noodles with thai basil, but the star of the show, by far, was the cashew chicken. The sauce, we figured out, was a combination of red curry paste and coconut milk, and was as unique as it was amazing. Nearly every time I have thai cuisine, I’m convinced that it’s the best thai I’ve ever had, but this time is going to be hard to equal.
We finally headed for some waterfalls on a quick hike, and discovered amazing scenery along the way along with some peculiar flowers. As usual, I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.
Day 2: Kona-Submarine & Luau
11:30 PM (HI)
Today was a big day. Perhaps the best way to put it would be to say this: I took more pictures today on my digital camera than I ever have before in a single day (~530 total). I’d say that 60% of these photos are not really all that great for one reason or another. Perhaps 35% are okay pictures, though, and 5% are very good. One or two are actually great pictures, which is always encouraging-getting even a few right is always good.
We started the day by heading to the large harbor to the north for our submarine ride. We were very early, and consequently had quite some time to wait around. This we spent watching the ocean and surmising on the possible presence of sharks (which my dad hates). When the guides arrived, they told us that they only saw a shark maybe once every month which set my dad at ease, but slightly disappointed me. We were soon on the short ferry ride over to our little submarine, and after a five minute ride, boarded the undersea craft.
Immediately when we got underwater, everything turned blue. As we dove deeper, this simply intensified, and at about 60 feet under we basically lost the color red. Throughout the entire trip, we were followed by many Sergeant Majors (a small black and white striped fish which apparently like submarines), and while down on the sea floor, we saw approximately seven species of fish by my count including surgeonfish, yellow tang, pufferfish, and at least one eel. These were all most common among the several shipwrecks we passed.
8:30 PM (HI)
Today has been a relatively quiet day, though we did get our first look at the island in sunlight. It is truly amazing-every picture you see of Hawaii is entirely correct-these are not staged nor rare-it seems that the entire island looks like this. I probably spent an hour just watching the waves crash into the rocky beach in the small bay next from our deck. There is something about the ocean that is entirely hypnotizing.
We went for dinner at a wonderful restaurant just up the coast, and had seats right at the water’s edge. Periodically through the meal (which was excellent), large waves would crash into the rocks below us and shower us with sea mist. We watched an incredible sunset over the western pacific. The golden-red sunlight reflecting off of the water, the light blue of the foam, and the sea-green of the ocean contrasted perfectly. I’m still kicking myself for leaving my camera in the condo.
Eventually, the sun went down and we finished dinner. I had a coffee with desert, and it turned out to be one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had (french press 100% Kona coffee, which I’m sure was completely fresh). I’m going to have to bring some back.
And now we’re watching Mythbusters on TV before bed. Tomorrow we’re taking a submarine ride and going to a Luau. I, personally, can’t wait.
LJS-8:40 PM (HI)